A Nigerian man living in Saudi Arabia identified as Wasiu Ismail has been arrested and detained.
SaharaReporters gathered that Ismail was arrested on January 7 after Saudi Riyal equivalent to N5million was found in his car booth.
He was arrested on 7th and we didn’t hear anything from him till 15 when he called that he was arrested because he was driving and have about 40,000SR in his booth,” a friend of the victim told SaharaReporters.
“He said he was going to send the money to his family before the arrest.”
The source added that one Azeez Alabi from the Nigerian consulate in Jeddah was invited by the police and he signed against him.
“In one of the calls he made to his wife, he said one Azeez Alabi from the consulate in Jeddah came to sign against him.
“We did investigation about this Azeez Taofek Alabi and realised he is always setting Nigerians up in Saudi Arabia and get them deported or jailed.
“Wasiu is someone that lives legally here as he has a Saudi Arabian wife. Now they change the story to that he fought the police during the arrest. The Saudi Arabian policemen who arrested him initially requested him to leave the money for them but he refused. He told them he hasn’t done anything illegal, so why should he forfeit his money to them?
“They now claimed he was arrested because he sold marijuana. You won’t believe our embassy, the ambassador has abandoned this guy? It’s so sad.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called for the release of Wasiu.
NANS in a petition signed by its National Vice President (External Affairs), Akinteye Babatunde Afeez to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs alleged the Saudi Arabian police made attempt to inject the victim with some unknown substances but he vehemently resisted.
The petition read, “My attention has been drawn by concerned students living in Saudi Arabia to the case of one of our stakeholders in that country who was declared missing since Saturday, January 7, 2023.
“Recently, he contacted his sister through a Saudi phone number +966 12 530 9897. He explained how he was illegally arrested by the police and was taken to AL-SHUMAISI DETENTION CENTER in Mecca/Jeddah border area. He also said that one AZEEZ ALADE, from the consulate in Jeddah is aware of his whereabout because he visited the said police station and signed some papers against him.
“Mr Wasiu also claimed that they were trying to inject him with some unknown substances but he vehemently resisted. His sister complained that when he called, his voice was so feign and he said he was very sick and weak. We don’t intend to lose another soul to our nonchalance and carelessness, that’s why we’re appealing to your office.
“Mr WASIU lives in Jeddah, An Nuzah, Rukoyah Street No. 56, where he was whisked away on the said date and it has become an issue of concern to the Nigerian Students in Saudi Arabia, his friends and relations. Mr Wasiu has been living legally in Jeddah with his residential permit for 15 years.
“As part of our efforts to secure the release of Mr Wasiu, my office has contacted NIDCOM and they have taken some necessary steps but the progress we desired has not materialized. As an association and in conjunction with our Diaspora Students’ body, we have reached out to the Ambassador to Nigeria in Saudi Arabia and up until now, we have not seen or heard of any significant action as the arrested person have not been visited by our consular since we reported the matter to him.
“On behalf of the Nigerian Students Stakeholders all over the world, most especially in Jeddah, I am hereby appealing to you to use your gracious office to reach out to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Jeddah so they can send a representative to reach him and hear his side of the story and get the clearer picture of the situation from him, as we believe this will bring about a lasting solution to this unease amongst his family and friends.
“Concerned Nigerian Students and Stakeholders in Saudi Arabia and other neighbouring countries have informed me of their plan to hold a massive protest demanding for his immediate release but I had to wade in and assure them that we have you in charge and that in no time, you will get the appropriate authorities informed and as well compel them to release him swiftly. Thanks so much as we anticipate your expedite actions as to making sure that Mr. WASIU is promptly released from the illegal detention as soon as possible.